Wimbledon is reportedly set to come away with over £100 million (A$199m) in an insurance payout after being forced to halt the year’s proceedings due to coronavirus.
US sports reporter Darren Rovell said the UK tournament put away $2 million a year — roughly the amount a runner-up gets every tournament — into “pandemic insurance” for the past 17 years.
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“Of course we are fortunate to have insurance,” All England chief executive Richard Lewis told The Times. “It helps but it doesn’t solve all the problems.”
As the only one of the four grand slams to have pandemic-related insurance, Wimbledon is set to ride through the unprecedented crisis with relative ease compared to the French Open across the ditch, which was forced to postpone last month.
Mr Lewis said the SARS outbreak in 2003 prompted officials to undergo talks with insurance companies to figure out a pandemic clause.
Wimbledon’s cancellation — its first since WWII seven decades ago — reportedly triggered the insurance policy.
Wimbledon officials however said they couldn’t confirm Rovell’s claim, simply stating that they “have always sought to purchase the appropriate cover available for The Championships”.
Wimbledon isn’t the only major event that could walk away from the crisis relatively unscathed financially. The Royal & Ancient which runs the British Open — cancelled for 2020 — also had similar insurance.